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June 04, 2019

Franklin Institute's Train Factory exhibit getting major renovation

'Treasures of the Franklin Institute' is expected to open by museum's 200th anniversary in 2024

Museums Franklin Institute
Rendering of the Train Factory in the Franklin Institute Courtesy of/SmithGroup

Rendering of what the Train Factory in the Franklin Institute will look like after the transformation.

The Franklin Institute's Train Factory exhibit, where the historic Baldwin 60000 Locomotive resides, is preparing to undergo a dramatic transformation.

The museum received a $6 million gift from the Hamilton Family Charitable Trust for the expansion and re-imagination of the space into a two-story gallery.

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It will be renamed "Treasures of the Franklin Institute" and will display unique artifacts from the museum's collections, many of which have never been displayed publicly before.

According to the Franklin Institute, the rotating items may include Benjamin Franklin's glass armonica, a 1912 letter from Alexander Graham Bell, a Thomas Edison light bulb and drawings by Wilbur and Orville Wright.

The artifacts will surround the massive steam locomotive, which was donated to the Franklin Institute in 1933 by Samuel M. Vauclain, grandfather of S. Matthews V. Hamilton Jr. of the Hamilton Family Charitable Trust.

The train will remain where it is, and the floor will be cut away for the displays. Here's a rendering of the what the space should look like when complete:

Rendering of Franklin Institute's new Treasures of the Franklin Institute exhibitCourtesy of/SmithGroup

Rendering of the new “Treasures of the Franklin Institute” exhibit.

Visitors will also be able to see five steel-and-concrete railroad bridge structures that support the 350-ton locomotive.

A date for when construction will begin has not been announced, yet, but "Treasures of the Franklin Institute" is expected to open to the public in time for the 200th anniversary of the Franklin Institute in 2024.

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